The San Antonio Spurs routed the Miami Heat 111-92 to seize a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals and deal the two-time defending champion Heat their first home loss of the playoffs.
An unbelievable game by Kawhi. He was sharp. He was attentive and he had a great game on both ends of the floor
The Spurs played their motion offense to near perfection in the first half, leading by as many as 25 points despite the best efforts of Miami’s LeBron James and took a massive 71-50 lead into the intermission.
San Antonio survived a comeback that brought Miami within seven points at 81-74 late in the third quarter, but the visitors reasserted themselves to secure a comfortable victory that ended the Heat’s 8-0 perfection at home this post-season.
Kawhi Leonard, who had averaged nine points a game in the first two contests, led the Spurs with a career high 29 points. Tony Parker and Danny Green both pitched in with 15 points.
“An unbelievable game by Kawhi,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobli told reporters. “He was sharp. He was attentive and he had a great game on both ends of the floor.”
Four-time NBA most valuable player James scored 22 points to share Miami scoring honors with Dwyane Wade, although James was never able to take control of the game.
He scored 14 points in the first quarter with the next highest scoring Heat player Ray Allen getting three as the Spurs charged out to a 41-25 lead. James scored only eight points the rest of the way.
“They came out in a different gear than we were playing at,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “It just seemed that we were on our heels the most part of the first half. And then when we started to get to a different gear in the third quarter, it was just hard to change the energy of the game.”
Game Four will be played on Thursday on the Miami Heat’s home court.